Can Anyone Be a Manager? Maybe Not.

Simple question, right? Actually, it’s not. Many people want the title of manager but don’t understand the minutiae of the role. Many feel it should be the end goal of their career or a signal that they succeeded. However, not everyone can or should be a manager.

Sure, anyone theoretically can obtain that title. It’s easy. A promotion is something that any hard worker has the possibility to obtain, right? But, being promoted doesn’t actually mean that you can manage. It means solely that you have the title of manager, and someone within your company felt you had the skillsets and ability to excel as a manager. But now what?

What does it take to be a good manager? There are several characteristics that one should possess in order to find success in the role.

Cartoon of a large hand picking a happy man from a lineup of four similar-looking men in business attire, representing employee selection.

#1 Be a leader

Being a manager means you will have a team of people to manage. And how does one manage well? By being able to lead others. Managers earn respect by leading by example. If a manager is training an employee in a certain position, then that manager should have had previous experience, and success, in that role. Break it down for employees. Let them know exactly what is expected of them. Don’t be vague about your expectations.

#2 Listening skills

This is a must. Managers must listen to their employees. Not only hear them when they speak but actually, listen to what they say. Employees want to feel respected and valued and often express this to management with little to no results. An effective manager will take the time to engage with their employees and ensure that they are heard.

#3 Give constructive feedback

Managing is hard work. It isn’t all “everyone gets a trophy” all the time. There are times when managers have to discipline or have tough conversations with employees about actions that need to be corrected. The hard part? Having these conversations respectfully. Let the employee know they are a valued part of the team, but there are areas that need improvement for their success and the success of the company.

#4 Be approachable

Many times, employees feel their manager isn’t readily available. This is not okay. It is imperative that employees feel they can contact their manager at any point in time to discuss issues. Management is there to help manage employees, situations, and workplace issues. Managers are there to help guide and lead employees. Be available.

#5 Be realistic

Don’t let management go to your head. Yes, you have found success in management and that is impressive, no doubt. But, those who are reporting to you don’t necessarily care how quickly you were promoted. They care that you are going to be there for them and help them advance in their role in the organization. Offer to advise, mentor them, and have conversations with them to help them set realistic goals. Talk to them about how you obtained success in becoming a manager. Show your team that advancement is something that is obtainable for everyone, and then help them find their path.

Being a manager is a great and respectful position for one to hold. It comes with responsibility and decision-making but also the ability to help foster and create an amazing work environment. To get to management you need to start taking the initiative. Take our course Taking Initiative today to see how empowered people succeed.

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